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Old 10-19-2006, 12:53 AM
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How to Paint the Engine Compartment?

I've got an old '70 Ford wagon to paint. It will not be a showroom job - just make it look more respectable and stop further deterioration.

The body is okay, it is in the process of being painted in the original colours.

The engine compartment is what we'd like advice on because we'd like to just paint over the existing paint and wonder if this will be okay.

The original paint is still intact but very stained here and there with what looks like rust from radiator boil overs perhaps.

Scrubbing at it and trying to clean it up doesn't work. So instead of having to cut it all back to the metal we'd like to just spray over it. Can we? With what?

regards,

ab
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:16 PM
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When I pulled my Olds engine out after 174,000 miles, the engine bay looked pretty rough too. I pressure washed everything pretty good and hit the firewall with a sander and smoothed it all out as much as possible. I primered the spots I sanded through, wet sanded a little for a little more smoothness, and the washed it all down and let it dry. I used a gloss heat resistant engine paint on the firewall and it came out pretty good. That was over 10 years ago and it still looks good today. Of course, now I've got an air compressor, air gun, a few more bucks, a garage....maybe .....
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Old 10-19-2006, 03:57 PM
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Hi... thanks for the input.

Does it get so hot in there that I shouldn't use the normal body paint?

Originally they painted the whole body shell with the same paint, I think, didn't they? Still today, don't they?

What that original paint was I don't know but I'm painting the car with acrylic lacquer now. Can I put that in the engine compartment?

ab
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:02 PM
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Sorry. I'm not gonna even pretend to be a paint expert. I do know my exhaust manifold is pretty darned close to my firewall and that paint is still there that I put there years ago. If you paint over the original paint, will your new product cause the old to blister...I don't know. Maybe if you use the acrylic laquer you will want to test it over a small area before you spray the whole firewall or strip it all, primer, and shoot it. I used the heat resistant because I figured if it would last on the engine it would hold on the firewall. So far, so good!
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:41 PM
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Shame on you, for using lacquer!
That stuff will haunt you and/or anyone else who ever has that car. There are so many much better products on the market now days. Lacquer is very out dated. Lacquer is also not compatible with any other products. Why are you using that stuff? I wanted to advise you to sand your engine compartment, spray it with some epoxy primer and put what ever finish you wanted over it. But, that wont work with lacquer, in fact I'm not sure what will. Sorry I'm not trying to be rude, but maybe you should rethink your paint.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:20 PM
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You've made me sit up and blink.

I'm using lacquer because I'm a total novice and don't know what else to do and have to take the advice of those who make out they know.

i.e. the paint salesman, over the phone. He told me he could match the original colour, by looking at the paint books for autos that they have - if I gave him the model of the car and the number on the firewall compliance plate.

I did: 1970 Ford Falcon Wagon, Number '2' as the paint number.

He then said he'd make it up in acrylic lacquer as that was the only stuff the book gave the directions for.

And he sold me some primer - 'Dulon' 'One shot Primer Filler' by PPG with a number on the can 289-45711 if that means anything to anyone and the writing: Contain <10% Toluene <10% Xylene - and some mixed up Dulon 'Basecoat' which has no fancy numbers on the can and only the words: Contains 10-<30% Toluene 10-<30% Methyl Ethyl Ketone to give a clue as to what it is.

I've also got 'Clear Topcoat', 'acrylic lacquer' by K&H 'surface technologies' and it claims to contain 'Toluene 10-30%'.


You surprise me by saying '...so many much better...' - I've got really no idea at all.

Would you have the time to give me a quick rundown on the situation - or perhaps point me to a site that will show me?

I'm under the impression that I'm doing the best that can be done - but maybe I'm being got at or maybe this little old bush town here is behind the times and then again maybe I am when all things are considered - matching the car, amatuer (first time) backyard home sprayer, economic constraints, etc....

Whatever the real situation is I'd really like to know...

This is a big subject, isn't it, this painting, auto painting, thing? I had no idea.
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:58 AM
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Urethane singlestage color or basecoat clearcoat is what you need if you're after the best durability and as sprayed gloss. Do a search for MartinSR's writeup explaining paint types or chosing paint.

What your supplier gave you is all 1K products that will deteriorate fast compared to a modern 2K system. 1K means solvent based product that cures by drying-evaporation, 2K is a two component product that uses a catalyst to cure the product.
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:06 PM
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in the 70's I believe ford used both lacquer and air dry enamel, but not sure what was used in the engine bay. Lacquer should never be applied over an air dryed enamel and catalyzed stuff wasn't around back then. You would have to at the very least seal it, but if you are going to need spray equiptment to seal, You might is well use base clear as the others have suggested, or at least a single stage catalyzed urethane. Is this semi gloss black in the engine compartment you are doing, or body color. I would use what ever you will be using on the outside, weather single stage or base clear if body color. If semi gloss black then you could use a single stage urethane and add some flattening agent. Its not so much the heat I don't believe in there, or really a problem with some of the color fading out since it isn't exposed to really much of any uv, but lacquer or any 1k product would not hold up well against chemicals, and there is a lot of em that could fly or get spilled onto the paint at some point. Man with the amount of sanding and nooks and crannys in an engine compartment, do yourself a favor and use a catalyzed paint so you won't be doing again anytime soon.
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